THE council has ramped up its work to support local businesses and residents, and respond to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the local economy.

Councillor Richard Beacham, cabinet member for housing, regeneration and growth said: “This is a fast moving and dynamic situation, with more information coming through all of the time. I want to offer assurances to businesses in Cheshire West that the local response to national plans will be ready.

"Businesses of all sizes - from sole traders to multinational companies - are being affected by the coronavirus pandemic. We are working with our partners across Cheshire and Warrington to maintain a suite of resources and support local businesses and employers.”

A package of measures to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses was announced in the budget by The Chancellor, with more announcements expected to help minimise the impact of COVID-19.

Cheshire West and Chester Council has formed a partnership to help deliver some of this assistance. This partnership includes Cheshire & Warrington Growth Hub, local Business Improvement Districts, Groundwork, the Local Chambers, Marketing Cheshire and neighbouring local authorities.

Cllr Beacham added: “There will be two grant schemes to support small businesses that will be administered by the Council. Our staff are playing an important role by working closely with central government to help shape the grants process, and I hope the government will release payments within weeks once the announcements have been made.”

The first scheme will be a grant of £10,000 for businesses receiving Small Business Rate relief and Rural Rate relief with a rateable value of under £15,000. In Cheshire West and Chester this will provide over £46m of support for small businesses.

The second scheme focuses on the retail, leisure and hospitality sector for organisations that do not receive Small Business Rate Relief and have a rateable value under £51,000. This will be a grant offer of up to £25,000 and there will be guidance from central government to help identify eligible businesses.

The council urges anyone struggling to pay heir council tax and in financial hardship to contact the council via email at to discuss potential re-profiling payments.